The voting majority in the United Kingdom has dropped a rock into the economic pool, and the ripples of the impact are not likely to subside before the end of the year.
On Friday morning, millions watched as the pound went into what is commonly being dubbed a ‘freefall’. Just over half the country who voted to leave, watched as their economic gamble took its first twists and turns.
The pound fell to its lowest level in over 30 years against the dollar. The UK has now lost all of its AAA credit ratings, and businesses are wondering just what their best move might be.
The pound has now begun to recover some of its lost ground, with it rising 0.9% against the dollar to $1.3467 today, although it remains well below levels reached before the referendum. Overseas markets such as the Asian stock market, and European markets, which initially fell in much the same way, are now also on the rise.
What causes the most fear for Britons now is the continued claims from European Union high ranking officials that state how different the trade of goods could be now we have chosen to leave.
By 9am on Friday, David Cameron had declared his resignation, with talks of ‘captaining’ ships, in a speech which almost dared to be optimistic. The Prime Minister quickly spoke a highlight reel of achievements, before giving us October as the date he will step down.
And so we have our platform from which to speculate as to who will lead the country out of uncertainty, and how. The remain campaign, between desperate petitions and social media shamings, cried much the same message, which was that a plan had yet to be formed. This became more apparent as key figures from the leave campaign emerged in front of the cameras for the first time on Friday not with grins, but with expressions of doubt.
As if on cue, an orchestra of racism has erupted across the country, with incidents reported by many, who have felt discrimination at the hands of those who now feel it is justified. To blame the leave campaign entirely would be a misjudged reaction, but the coincidence will not be ignored by any quick thinking or conscientious publication, nor any politician.
Because everybody who has ever sneered, ever wanted ‘them’ out now has more of a chance than ever before. Nigel Farage, a scapegoat for the winds of xenophobia, took to the role more than ever today when he aimed criticism squarely at the European union.
“You’re not laughing now, are you?”, words rarely spoken in a place of politics were today spat at a room of people who resoundingly echoed the dire thought “he actually made a difference.” He wielded his only political weapon, sour British nationalism, and aimed it at voters with devastating effect. Mr. Farage is not modest, and he knows that the most significant move he will ever make has already been made, therefore he must turn up to its after party.
Over at the Labour stations, Jeremy Corbyn today found himself at the mercy of a resounding 172 to 40 vote of no confidence. Two thirds of his cabinet have resigned since last Friday, and this was echoed today as the majority of the Labour party spoke loud and clear of their view that Mr. Corbyn did far too little to fight remain. Many now speculate that he in fact voted leave, and indeed it was no secret that he is at least Eurosceptic. David Cameron took to publicly shaming Corbyn today, as he shouted “For heaven’s sake man, go!” at the leader of the opposition in the House of Commons, in a rare show of aggression.
The 40 votes of confidence and many Labour supporters argue that Corbyn is not a useful target for passion at this moment, and he is better saved as a tool against a Conservative government which grows stronger every day. They may get their way, too, as Corbyn has stated since the vote that he has no intention of stepping down.
For once, this summer, the race to the big seat in UK politics will not be the biggest story in UK politics. That being said, the race is on, and we already know our top contenders. Theresa May is narrowly beating Boris Johnson in the latest polls for who will become the next prime minister.
Chancellor George Osbourne has taking himself out of the running for the big seat, publicly stating that he “won’t be a candidate to succeed David Cameron – but will fulfil my duty to my country and help new PM unite party”. Nonetheless, he will have a significant role to play in the months to come. Jeremy Hunt is keen for the job, and yesterday stated that there should be a second EU referendum, no doubt in a move to get remainers on his side, should he get close enough to need their support.
The new Prime Minister will of course take on one of the biggest political burdens ever to face one taking office in the UK. And what a great irony, that Johnson may not have to lie in the bed he has so passionately made.